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2022: Engaging Pontiac's Neighborhoods for Downtown Economic Resiliency

Co Learning Plan Author - 2022

Authors: Sean Kammer


The city of Pontiac was once a major industrial center in southeast Michigan; however, the decline of manufacturing had a severe negative impact upon the city and the health, employment security and living standards of the city’s population. The focus of this co-learning plan is on resiliency planning, with emphasis on the creation of a marketing plan and an outline of proposed steps to foster an inclusive economy in downtown Pontiac that involves the participation of the current residents of the community by leveraging opportunities to engage adjacent neighborhoods in downtown development projects. investigate methods of reengaging populations from the adjacent neighborhoods in meaningful ways: economically, culturally, and emotionally.  

Outreach efforts will be made to residents of adjacent neighborhoods to the north of downtown in attempts to engage them with downtown and economic development organizations. Through surveys, interviews, and group discussions, efforts will be made to determine opportunities for downtown businesses to satisfy existing economic demands of these neighborhoods. This will take the form of a market study and business mix analysis. Additional efforts will be made to determine the viability for alternative forms of entrepreneurship that could connect the downtown to these northern adjacent neighborhoods, including opportunities to support locally owned, small-scale manufacturing. This project will result in a blueprint for the creation of an inclusive economy, in which new businesses can be established to meet existing demand. It will also stimulate new demand with buy-local programs and the creation of jobs to help fulfill that demand. The aim of this project is to identify the key economic development steps to foster the establishment of a virtuous economic cycle that builds assets for the community while creating an inclusive market for locally produced goods and services. 

Author Information

Kammer HeadshotSean Kammer is a downtown management and economic development professional with significant experience in municipal government. Kammer possesses two masters degrees in public administration and political science, and wrote his masters essay on the world city network and its impact on national sovereignty and governance. He also possesses graduate certificates in economic development and peace and security studies from Wayne State University. Kammer has worked as Assistant City Administrator and DDA executive director in the City of Lathrup Village, Assistant to the City Administrator in the City of Flint, and as Downtown Manager of the City of Royal Oak, where he was awarded a national Main Street Forward Award for developing and implementing covid relief programs for downtown businesses. Kammer is presently the executive director of the City of Birmingham's Principal Shopping District and serves as a volunteer on the board of Main Street Pontiac, in which he chairs the economic development committee. He lives in Clarkston with his two children, Kennedy and Conrad.  

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